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Stories of Human Trafficking in India

June 28, 2007

Ms. M used to work in the fields of her home town doing agricultural work.  On average her wages were between Rs 500 to Rs 600 a month ($12.22 to $14.66).  One day Ms M was offered work in Delhi as a servant maid earning Rs 1500 per month.  On the first of August 2005, Ms M, accompanied by two other women from her home town, went to Delhi to the agency that promised them work.  Upon arriving the women discovered that the agency housed around twenty women from different parts of India.  The women were made to sleep on the floor and were given only one chapatti (a flat bread that is cooked on a grill) each to eat.  Ms M was sent to work for a wealthy family in Delhi.  During her time working for the family she was given little food to eat.  Ms M also did not receive the money that she earned.  Instead the money was sent back to the agency that had brought her to Delhi.

Ms M quit her job and was sent back to the agency in Delhi.  Ms M was able to persuade someone to let her leave the facilities.  During her time at the agency Ms M was molested and was witness to several rapes.  Ms M is a living witness to the exploitation that is being carried out of young girls and women who are lured with the hope of better wages to work as maidservants.  There are many agencies in India like the one Ms M was in.  Many women in these agencies have gone missing and nobody knows what happened to them.


P was like any other child in his village of Panbari.  His family was poor and struggling to make ends meet.  One day P's uncle came to visit the family.  The uncle promised a better life with good food and an education to his nephew.  The uncle offered to take him to a school in a different part of India.  The mother believed her brother and let P go with his uncle.  The uncle sold P with three other children to a well-known child trafficker for Rs 800.  P died when a fire broke out in the room the children were held captive.  The uncle was informed of the deaths and received Rs 500.  The mother was never told about her son's death.


Jyotsna[1]was also the victim of human trafficking.  She was promised a job as a maidservant and upon arrival was sent to a trafficking agency.  Jyotsna was sent to work for a wealthy family who treated her inhumanly.  After quitting her job Jyotsna was sent back to the agency, where she was raped.  Jyotsna was able to escape from the agency and went back to her hometown.  Today, Jyotsna is working as a volunteer to help prevent other children and women from her village becoming victims of human trafficking. 

Jyotsna says: I was suffering from a sense of guilt and shame, since I returned from Delhi.  I felt ashamed for the humiliation that I went through and the betrayal that I suffered.  Members of the Church of North India (CNI) who come and serve in our village have shared about the issue and have personally counseled me and my family members.  I started feeling good.  Since then I have been engaged in making communities here [aware] about the ill-effects of simple trust towards the agents, as I also prepare those who go for work outside to protect themselves from any form of exploitation, and that the family members have the right to information about their children's/women's whereabouts.


L was seventeen years old and was working for a rich family.  After three years L died working for the family.  The "owner" of the child brought her body back in a coffin to her family.  The man told the family not to open the coffin and bribed them with money so that they would not tell authorities.  The family was never sure that there was an actual body in the coffin


An increasing trend is reported from some villages that girls as young as ten years old go missing for four to five years.  On their return, the girls mention that they got married to somebody, and that now they come back because "he does not like" her anymore.  Around 500 children have been taken in the name of finding jobs from Saontalpur and Dhawlajhora T.E.  Some of these children are untraceable and no one has contact details. 


Cases like those above ask people to kindly consider the matter seriously and rescue children that have been trafficked.  People are also asked to consider the case in which the tribal communities of Saontalpu are trafficked to far off places by taking advantage of their poverty and declining sources of livelihood.  And finally people are called to investigate and trace the agents who are involved in these situations that exploit the different tribes of the region.

For more information on cases of human trafficking in the area, please click  here.

Prepared by: Office of Resource Development
Global Ministries
P.O. Box 1986
Indianapolis, IN  46206
Tel:  (317) 713-2555
Fax:  (317) 635-4323

[1] Name has been changed.

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